Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Scout Camp with a Milk Allergy

Sending my son off for scout camp is a pretty big step for me in terms of his allergy. To make sure that what he eats is completely dairy-free, we will be sending up his food separately. I plan on getting a copy of the scout menu and then supplying meals that are as close as possible to the real thing so that he won't feel like he stands out too much (though sometimes he likes it:)). I have also contacted the scout master and asked him to personally oversee his food to make sure that he gets the right items as I won't be able to be there. I know that I'll be on pins and needles the entire week that he's gone.

It's amazing to me how much harder it is to do ordinary, everyday things with an allergy. Every time we are out and want to go to a restaurant, we have to stop and ask ourselves if it is worth the unknown of a milk allergy and if we can trust the chef to really be able to accomodate us. (We've had many instances when we've special ordered something dairy-free and twenty minutes later it is brought out with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top or the like.) Often, we order a burger with no bun and only ketchup on the side, just to be on the safe side. Some french fries even contain dairy, so they're not always safe either (almost ALL of A&W's menu has dairy in it, including the buns).

On a positive note, I am so grateful for my son's milk allergy as it has encouraged me to eat healthier and make things from scratch a lot more often. I am less tempted to eat junk food when four out of five children can't have it.

I hope to educate my son so that by the time he leaves home, he will have the skills necessary to survive in the world with a milk allergy.

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